What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.
William Albert Allard
One of the reasons that I absolutely love winter photography! It’s like having a clean canvas, uncluttered and primed.
Today was bitterly cold with periods of heavy snow but it was also the perfect day to spot pheasants: often overlooked as they blend so easily into ground vegetation.
Freezing fingers, wet gear…all so worth it! I believe that’s part of the magic of photography. Heading outdoors with no expectations and finding a little magic somewhere.
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
What if you could live a quiet life? How much of the stuff around you do you really need? How much of it actually brings you joy?
I’ve been on a mission for the past couple of years to simplify and move towards living quietly. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stuff and to form attachments to things that have long ceased to enrich your life in any meaningful way.
Another component of this way of living is being mindful of time. How do you spend your free time? Who do you spend it with? Are you stretched thin accepting every invitation that comes your way whether or not it’s something that you really want to be doing?While it is important to not be closed off to human interaction, to get out and to interact with people socially, it’s also okay to say no to doing everything.
How does this relate to photography? I make conscious choices when heading out the door to shoot. I don’t need to carry every lens in my arsenal and just that very act jump starts the creative process, sets the tone for the images.
I think that it’s a sign of growth when we can look at what we do and how we do it and evaluate if that still works for us. For me December is the perfect time to do that and gear up for the coming year.
For example, I am a believer that how you keep your work space is a clear indicator of your mental health. I used to feel that a work space that was cluttered and filled with ongoing, unfinished work was a sign of great creativity. Looking back at that now I realize that you can’t be working to your full potential in a messy environment and taking it one step further, if you dig deep, I think you’ll find that it is an indicator of poor mental health and unhappiness.
I look at the images that I love to create and by far the cleanest, simplest imagery is what fuels my passion the most so why would I ever think that cluttered would work for me?
I’ve spent this year simplifying my life, my gear, my studio and in the process of doing so find myself finishing off the year feeling inspired and focused.
It’s that time of year…plan some goals, clean up your work space, and start the New Year off with a clear direction and a plan of how to get there from here.
Reading a little poetry won’t hurt either, I highly recommend When I Have Fears by John Keats.